Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Susan Lonborg

Second Committee Member

Kara Gabriel

Third Committee Member

Ralf Greenwald


The studies presented assessed the presence and severity of self-potentiation effects in a word fragment completion task commonly used to evaluate priming effects. Priming effects have suffered a plethora of replication issues, and the field is currently under intense scrutiny. By analyzing and refining the methodology used, we will be able to more effectively evaluate the significance and strength of these effects in future research, and increase the reliability of results under replication. In these experiments, outcomes on a word fragment completion task were examined under a variety of conditions. In the first study, responses were collected in a free-response style similarly to previous research without using an induction. The second study evaluated these outcomes under mortality salience induction, subtle mortality salience induction, and no induction, using restricted timing for stimulus presentation and response. Responses revealed evidence suggesting a potentiating effect. Analyses for effects between conditions were non-significant, regardless of method of analysis used.